After 13 years as mayor, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Jason Hu (胡志強) is gearing up for another four-year term after beating two challengers in his party’s Greater Taichung mayoral primary on Saturday — but he is expected to face an uphill battle in the Nov. 29 election.
The KMT’s primary consisted of opinion polls that pitted party hopefuls against each other and then against the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) contender, Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍).
The KMT’s Greater Taichung chapter refused to disclose Hu’s score compared with Lin, giving only his composite score from the two polls of 50.62 percent.
Lin said Hu, who defeated DPP rival Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) by a 2.23 percent margin in the 2010 mayoral election — just after Taichung City and Taichung County were merged to become Greater Taichung — has lost support of nearly half of traditional KMT voters because of they are fed up with his mayorship.
According to a survey conducted by the Chinese-language United Daily News after the KMT primary, Lin leads Hu by 47 percent to 28 percent.
Compared with a survey the paper conducted on Dec. 22 last year, the figures showed that Lin’s popularity has increased by 5 percentage points, while Hu’s has declined 8 percentage points.
Lin ran against Hu in the 2005 Taichung City mayoral election and lost by more than 87,000 votes.
Even among the traditional KMT support base, 29 percent said they did not support Hu.
Among non-affiliated respondents, 39 percent said they favored Lin, while 17 percent said they favored Hu.
Only 38 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Hu’s performance over the past three years, compared with 48 percent who disapproved and 13 percent that had no opinion.
Nearly half of those questioned by the paper — 43 percent — said they wanted to see a new mayor, and 23 percent said Hu had been in city hall for too long.
Hu took the results in stride, saying that he had only announced his bid at the beginning of last month and there was plenty of time to solicit votes.